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Archive for June 26th, 2012

Civil Rights Trailblazer Congressman John Lewis announced as Grand Marshal of the Lawyers’ Committee 50th Anniversary Campaign and National Advisory Commission

Posted by Admin On June - 26 - 2012 Comments Off on Civil Rights Trailblazer Congressman John Lewis announced as Grand Marshal of the Lawyers’ Committee 50th Anniversary Campaign and National Advisory Commission

  “Moving America Toward Justice”


WASHINGTON, D.C.The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is proud to announce that Congressman John Lewis will serve as Grand Marshal of the organization’s 50th Anniversary Campaign and National Advisory Commission.  “We are delighted and honored to have John Lewis as Grand Marshal for our 50th anniversary,” said Lawyers’ Committee Executive Director Barbara Arnwine. “His historic leadership in the civil rights movement and lifelong commitment to human rights, equality, and civil liberties continues to be instrumental in the pursuit of racial justice and equality. With amazing dedication, he has remained at the vanguard of progressive social movements and the human rights struggle in the United States.”


Since 1986, Lewis has served as U.S. Representative of Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District and recently published a new book entitled Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change (2012).  He has championed legislation and initiatives central to voting rights, equal employment and workers’ rights, education, housing and foreclosure, LGBT rights, and more.


“I am tremendously grateful for the opportunity to serve as Grand Marshal of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s 50th anniversary,” said Representative Lewis. “This historic organization has been ‘Moving America Toward Justice’ by consistently and persistently confronting injustice and inequality that still plagues this nation. The Lawyers’ Committee is creatively addressing the problems of our time. They do not hesitate to ‘get in the way’ to demand that this democracy respect the dignity and the worth of every human being, especially those who are locked out and left behind.”


Over the past 50 years, America has made substantial strides in achieving racial justice and equal opportunity, yet significant barriers remain which must continue to be addressed. The Lawyers’ Committee plans to honor that progress and celebrate the dynamic history of the Committee in working to help realize a society unhampered by discrimination. Simultaneously, the Committee endeavors to look toward the future by engaging and increasing civil rights activism in new generations, particularly within the legal community, in the ongoing struggle for all racial, social, and economic justice.


The Lawyers’ Committee’s 50th Anniversary Campaign officially kicks off today, June 21, 2012, exactly one year leading up to the organization’s 50th anniversary founding date of June 21, 2013. Commemorative 50th anniversary events will be held now throughout 2013, such as the annual A. Leon Higginbotham Corporate Leadership Award Gala, which recognizes corporations for advancement of diversity and equality in the workplace. Congressman Lewis will work closely with the Committee in the development and execution of the gala, a major legal symposium and other events.added Ms. Arnwine. “People all across the nation were shaken by the media coverage of the protracted confrontation in Birmingham, Alabama, where peaceful protesters, led by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., were repeatedly attacked by police using batons, hoses and even dogs.  Shocking too was the spectacle of Governor George Wallace defiantly resisting a federal court order to admit black students to the University of Alabama, and the decision by the president and the attorney general to deploy the U.S. Army to enforce the order and the law.  And certainly the tragic assassination of Medgar Evers on June 12, 1963, just hours following President Kennedy’s nationally televised civil rights speech, distraught many.”

“Nearly 50 years ago President John F. Kennedy met with 244 leading American lawyers in the East Room of the White House to consider what role lawyers could and should play in the civil rights crisis,”

Due to the silence of the private bar, Bernard Segal, chairman of the firm now known as Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis and  co-founding chair of the Lawyers’ Committee, placed an ad in the Birmingham paper signed by other lawyers, decrying the defiance of the law by elected officials and calling instead for strong adherence to the rule of law.  This ad grabbed the attention of the attorney general and led him to persuade President Kennedy to issue a “Call to the Bar” for the now famous meeting on June 21, 1963.


During the meeting, President John F. Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy pointed to recent events in Birmingham and elsewhere as symptoms of a deepening crisis.  They recognized that because our constitutional system and the rule of law depends on peaceful obedience to court orders, official resistance requiring enforcement by armed force could lead to anarchy.  It was clear, they emphasized, that justifiable demands by blacks for equal access to public facilities, job opportunities, voting rights and other fundamental citizenship rights could no longer be denied.  Citing the unique role of lawyers within our constitutional system and the rule of law, the president, vice president and attorney general appealed to the assembled attorneys to mobilize the legal profession to support black Americans in their struggle for justice.


As a result of the meeting, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law was formed with the specific task of marshaling the resources of the private bar in the fight for racial equality.  Its members included former attorneys general, former presidents of the American Bar Association and local bar leaders from around the country.  No longer would the legal profession hold itself apart from the civil rights struggle.  Immediately the Committee began to issue public statements calling for peaceful compliance with court orders and voluntary desegregation of public facilities.  In addition, the Committee sent volunteer lawyers to Mississippi to represent ministers who had engaged in nonviolent civil rights demonstrations and had been charged with crimes.  In June of 1965 the Committee opened an office in Jackson, Mississippi which in its two decades of fearless advocacy contributed to the desegregation and transformation of that state including the election of its first African American congressman.


Now, almost a half century later since the founding of the Lawyers’ Committee, after thousands of cases and public policy advocacy advancing racial equality for millions of clients, the organization continues to work with a significant network of legal volunteers to fight for racial equality and justice in the areas of employment discrimination, fair housing and lending, educational opportunities, voting rights, environmental justice and community development.  The modern context of this fight is more nuanced, more multicultural in perspective, but is still powerfully urgent as racial exclusion results in the denial for way too many to participate equally in the fulfillment of the American dream.


With great pride and gratitude the organization looks back across the history of the Lawyers’ Committee and recognizes the impact of so many who have answered the call.  And it is with a sense of undiminished resolve and purpose that the Lawyers’ Committee will continue to engage legal professionals, along with society- at-large, in the struggle for racial justice and equal opportunity for all.


See Video of Rep. Lewis’ reflecting on his service as grand marshal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TPuBlXxS3A&feature=player_embedded


About the Lawyers’ Committee

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending, community development, employment discrimination, voting, education and environmental justice. For more information about the LCCRUL, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.


Photo Caption: U.S. Congressman John Lewis



Illinois Attorney General and IPC to hold Briefing on Synthetic Drugs in D.C.

Posted by Admin On June - 26 - 2012 Comments Off on Illinois Attorney General and IPC to hold Briefing on Synthetic Drugs in D.C.

State’s synthetic drug ban and enforcement efforts set an example for states across the country


As synthetic drugs continue to make headlines across the country, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois Poison Center (IPC) will be holding a legislative briefing in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, June 27 to educate lawmakers about the dangers of synthetic drugs, the state’s ban on the drugs and officials’ ongoing enforcement efforts.

The briefing, co-hosted by Representatives Danny Davis (D-Ill) and John Shimkus (R-Ill), will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in 1310 Longworth House Office Building (Committee on House Administration room).   

“Synthetic drug use has grown rapidly, yet there are still many adults, especially parents and educators, who are unaware of the immense danger posed by these chemicals,” Madigan said. “Synthetic drugs were initially sold at stores giving the illusion to kids that they were safe, but the tragic deaths that followed have proven this wrong. Over the past year, my office and the Illinois Poison Center have waged a campaign to increase awareness to synthetic drugs and target retailers that continue offering these products for sale. These partnerships are critical to avoiding further tragedies due to synthetic drug usage.”

The IPC continues to work closely with the Attorney General to identify new trends in synthetic drug consumption, track synthetic drug retailers and provide medical expertise on these potentially deadly chemicals.

“The IPC has received reports of more than 700 cases of synthetic drug abuse and overdose in the last 18 months, most of these coming from Emergency Departments,” said Dr. Michael Wahl, Medical Director of the Illinois Poison Center. “Patients who have ingested synthetic drugs are often agitated, paranoid, hallucinating or have attempted suicide while under the influences of these drugs. These hazardous symptoms underline our dire need for a broader, nationwide ban of synthetic drugs.”

Illinois and approximately 43 other states have recently banned synthetic drugs from being sold. However, these bans targeting specific versions of the drugs can be ineffective as minor changes to the chemical make-up of these substances can create similar drugs not banned under the law.

An amendment to the Food and Drug Administration reauthorization bill (S. 3187) would ban the harmful chemicals commonly found in synthetic drugs, not simply specific versions of the drugs. Poisoning is the number one cause of injury-related death in the United States, surpassing deaths from motor vehicle accidents and firearms, in part due to increased risks like synthetic drugs.

We encourage you to join us to learn more about these drugs and why a federal ban of these dangerous chemicals is critical to combat the growing threat to public health and safety.                                                       

MWRD Board of Commissioners honors Award-Winning Student Scientists

Posted by Admin On June - 26 - 2012 Comments Off on MWRD Board of Commissioners honors Award-Winning Student Scientists
youngscienceThe 62nd Chicago student science fair season has come to a close, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Board of Commissioners recently rewarded winning students with certificates and a Chicago River boat tour.
The award-winning student scientists  presented their project summaries and results to the MWRD Board of Commissioners in MWRD’s downtown Chicago board room. Many of the projects reflected several months of data collection and analysis on topics such as toilet paper durability in various water environments, mineral content in bottled water and the effect of acid on bacteria.
The road to the MWRD board room started earlier in the school year. Seventh through 12th grade private and public schools students had to win the top prize at their respective schools’ science fairs then win during the regional science fair held at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago in March.
Following the presentations, students and their families toured the Chicago River and Lake Michigan by boat.
“All of the students are to be commended for their hard work,” said Commissioner Kathleen Therese Meany, chairman of the MWRD’s Public Information and Education committee.  “It takes ingenuity to develop the concept, and it takes commitment and perseverance to follow through. I also applaud the parents and teachers for providing children with the guidance they need on these scientific endeavors.”
In the photo: MWRD Commissioner Kathleen Therese Meany presented an award to 7th grader Des­mond O’Keefe, from Christ the King School. Desmond’s project was titled “Which Bottled Waters Have the Most Mineral Content?”
List of award winners, schools and project title:
Grade 7
Patrick Burzec, St. Constance School, “Flood or No Flood”
Jennifer Buske, St. Robert Bellarmine School, “Do Different Types of Water Affect Plant Growth?”
Peter Cwik, St. Daniel the Prophet School, “Get the Lead Out!”
Julia Klages, St. Paul of the Cross School, “Spilling is Killing”
Christina Lopez, Science Academy of Chicago, “How to Disinfect Contaminated Water”
Gordon Maxwell, Beaubien School, “How Safe Is Chicagoland’s Drinking Water?”
Afreen Mohiuddin, College Preparatory School of America, “Sunlit Purification”
Desmond O’Keefe, Christ the King School, “Which Bottled Waters Have the Most Mineral Content?”
Maeve Roach, St. Bernadine School, “What’s in Your Bottle?”
Victor Rodriguez, Clark School, “Dark Soil Contaminated”
Kyra Sedovi, Queen of Angels School, “Grey Water: Can Plants Tolerate It?”
Ayesha Shafeeq, College Preparatory School of America, “The Effect of Pollution on the Buoyancy of Water Birds”
Jazmin Villanueva, St. Ferdinand School, “How Different Soils Affect the pH of Water”
Kim Vivekae, Edgebrook School, “A Comparison of Water Technologies”
Michael Wlazlo, Twain School, “Is Organic Fertilizer Better Than Synthetic?”
Grade 8
Jocelyn Bravo, Burroughs School, “Are Green Detergents Less Toxic?”
Casey Collins, St. Gabriel School, “Water Purification”
Jose Del Real, Charles J. Sahs School, “Oil Spills”
Mary Clare Enright, St. Walter School, “This Isn’t the Rain You Find in Spain”
Mathew Graziano, Sayre School, “Is Our Drinking Water Safe?”
Gabriela Gryc, St. Maria Goretti School, “H20 Pollution Revolution”
Kelly Sullivan, St. Gabriel School, “Water Purification”
Benjamin Weiss, Francis W. Parker School, “Directional Selection of Oxygen Production Capacity”
Katrina Wheelan, Alcott School, “Solar Car Efficiency as Affected by Gear Size”
Joseph Witek, Charles J. Sahs School, “Toilet Paper: Which Dissolves Fastest?”
Lucy Wolf, Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, “Water and Light”
Grade 9
Sebastian Augusthy, Kenwood Academy High School, Effect of Hydrocitric Acid on Bacteria”
Yadid Gutierrez, Curie High School, “Dandelion Roots vs. Bacteria”
Tyler Portis, Brooks High School, “Hiding in Plain Sight”
Fatima Qarmi, College Preparatory School of America, “Disinfecting Contaminated WaterWater”
Victoria Schwieger and Naomi Sopt, Taft High School, “pH’n Your Distillation”
Daniel Ziarko, Whitney Young High School, “Different Fertilizing Methods for Plants”
Grade 10
Priscilla Agbeo, University of Chicago-Woodlawn, “Medicated Plants”
Isa Alvarez, Westinghouse High School, “Killing Soil Microorganisms on Plant Growth”
Jaeda Branch, Morgan Park High School, “Catch the Sun”
Ibrahim Khaleel and Faraz Khan, College Preparatory School of America, “What’s in Your Water?”
Violette Montanez, Suarez High School, “Which Type of Water Is Hardest?”
Raafia Mulla and Eshwa Rashid, College Preparatory School of America, “Tap Water vs. Bottled Water”
Grade 11
Mary Kate Cahill, St. Scholastica High School, “You Stink: Pollution in the Chicago River”
Charles Herrera, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, “Evaluation of a GPS Unit on Necks of Cattle”
Michael Nguyen, Air Force Academy, “Martian DO2me”
Deanna Pirpiris and Patrice Pirpiris, Taft High School, “Catching More Rays”
Christopher Smith, Dunbar High School, “Soil Type and Water Retention”
Deneb Zavala, Lane Technical High School, “Creating a Water Filter for Third World Countries”
Established in 1889, the MWRD is an award-winning, special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in Cook County, Illinois.

Illinois GOP Chairman: Metro East power brokers select insider candidate

Posted by Admin On June - 26 - 2012 Comments Off on Illinois GOP Chairman: Metro East power brokers select insider candidate

Pat Brady, Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, issued the following statement on Illinois Democrats selecting Bill Enyart to fill the vacancy on the ballot in the 12th Congressional District, citing it as another example of Metro East Insiders ignoring the voters of Southern Illinois:

“With the way the votes are distributed in the district, a few Democrat power brokers from the Metro East are able to select their candidates without considering the voters from the rest of the southern counties,” Brady said. 

“We saw this happen in the early 2000s when David Phelps was redistricted out of a seat, and unfortunately history is repeating itself with their selection of Mr. Enyart,” Brady added. “There are many quality candidates that don’t live in the Metro East who do not receive the opportunity to run for higher office.”

“Residents of the 12th District are fortunate to have Jason Plummer as their candidate. Jason has consistently met with and reached out to voters from each of the district’s counties. Over the last few weeks, he has held townhall forums in both Jackson and Pulaski Counties, giving a voice to the downstate voters that the Democrats continue to ignore.”

“Southern Illinoisians should be fed up with the Metro East Democrats’ continually closed-door process, and support Jason Plummer, the candidate that will represent the entire district.”

The Strange Case of Newark Black Activist, De Lacy Davis

Posted by Admin On June - 26 - 2012 Comments Off on The Strange Case of Newark Black Activist, De Lacy Davis
“A stranger in the house: The strange case of De Lacy Davis”


By A.Akbar Muhammad

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Most of the Black community on the east coast of America is familiar with the group of women, so inspired by the historical Million Man March; they started an organization called WISOMMM-Women in Support of the Million Man March. With the hard work and focused leadership of the women, they acquired valuable properties in the heart of downtown Newark, New Jersey. The three edifices today are worth millions of dollars and is a testimony to how the 1995 march not only inspired men but also women. However, with the scourge of gentrification sweeping inner city communities across the country, there is a city and state-wide battle to thwart the work of WISOMMM and take the buildings, apparently with the help of some who benefited from the institution.

WISOMMM established an exemplary Pre-School Center and Charter School. They house several community programs and activities, including a strong mentoring program with a rites of passage project for young men, and have become a beacon of light to help remedy some of the social ills facing the greater Newark community. In an ongoing effort to reach out to conscious individuals who can add to the development of our children in their institution, the women of WISOMMM worked with their longtime brother and friend De Lacy Davis. He was, once upon a time, a man that many in the black community had great respect and admiration for. As a former police sergeant, he went head to head with the police department to address police brutality that is pandemic in the black community. His speeches, along with his book, were praised as he moved around in America speaking against police brutality. The sisters embraced him and accepted him as a trusted comrade.

It was his association with WISOMMM which helped to catapult De Lacy Davis to the prominent stature he enjoyed in the black African revolutionary community. For 20 years, he was revered as a beloved member of the family. He hosted many WISOMMM functions and was a permanent fixture in and around the organization. He was nurtured, safeguarded, trusted and harbored by the organization; therefore he was nurtured, safeguarded, trusted and harbored by the community. So much so that he was entrusted to run WISOMMM’s charter school. With high expectations and hope he was brought on as the leader of the Charter School by the group.

However, in the current battle for WISOMMM’s future – which includes a Justice Department lawsuit against it, that many believe is politically motivated – serious internal dynamics arose between Mr. Davis and the group.

There was a conciliatory session between the parties hosted at the Chicago home of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam. The meeting with the Minister sparked hopes of healing the problems that jeopardized the accomplishments and sacrifices of the women. After many tears and hugs, the delegation left Minister Farrakhan’s table with the resolve to move forward. Plans for the WISOMMM fundraiser held May 3-5, 2012 with the Minister keynoting were underway and there was a renewed spirit among community leaders to save the institution from its onslaught.

On the other hand, Mr. Davis on his return to Newark went in another direction – a strange and counterproductive direction – where, for reasons unknown to WISOMMM, he turned to bite the hand that was feeding him. Questions have arisen about Mr. Davis’ integrity and loyalty to the community based on actions he undertook with forces working to destroy WISOMMM.

It is widely believed that Mr. Davis supported an attack on WISOMMM for using the Nation of Islam Historical Exhibit as a feature during the weekend of events. It is widely believed, that he encouraged the calling of Newark city and New Jersey state officials, alleging that inviting the students to the historical display was violating separation of Church and State laws. Perhaps this was only a political move by a disgruntled employee.

But critics question these moves by Mr. Davis who is usually celebrated for being on the right side of justice, which makes this such a strange case. It is obvious that WISOMMM ‘s buildings do not fit into the future plans of downtown Newark and maybe Mr. Davis is being used in a more cynical plot by the city and state against progressive leadership and organizations, but considering his history, the question is why.

The strange case of De Lacy Davis is a cautionary tale about trust, truth and faith. The work of the Women In Support of the Million Man March speaks for itself. They have been steadfast in their faith in Almighty God, and in their tireless dedication to our community. They are earth rebel mothers, educators, activists, facilitators, entrepreneurs, and spirit filled warriors.

But unfortunately, the entire episode contradicts the spirit of the vision behind the programs that WISOMMM established to save our youth and respond to the conditions of an economically challenged city like Newark, NJ. Moreover when efforts to undermine forward thinking groups like these Black women is done by otherwise forward thinking Black men like him, this makes it the strange case of De Lacy Davis.

Akbar Muhammad can be reached for comments on aakbar314@yahoo.com

Photo Caption: De Lacy Davis, a former Newark police sergeant who went head-to-head with the police department to address police brutality


Sec’y of State Jesse White urges motorists to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday safely

Posted by Admin On June - 26 - 2012 Comments Off on Sec’y of State Jesse White urges motorists to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday safely

Secretary of State Police conduct DUI Patrols


Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is reminding drivers not to drink and drive and to wear their safety belts during this Fourth of July holiday.  White warned drivers that Secretary of State Police will be conducting DUI patrols during the holiday.

“Drinking and driving is a deadly combination which threatens people’s lives in Illinois every year,” White said.  “Choose a sober driver and help us ensure that this holiday doesn’t become a tragedy for any family.”

  • In 2011, 69 percent of the Fourth of July fatalities in Illinois were alcohol-related.
  • In 2010, 70 percent of the Fourth of July fatalities in Illinois were alcohol-related.

The Fourth of July holiday is the fourth deadliest holiday for motorists and passengers in Illinois.

If a drunk driver is spotted on the road, drivers are warned to keep a safe distance and try to obtain their license plate number, make, model and color of the vehicle, White advised. Drivers should then pull over and call 911 to report the description, location of the vehicle and direction of travel to the police.

White urged drivers to celebrate the holiday safely by using a designated driver who abstains from drinking.  If drinking is involved in the celebration, White suggests taking public transportation, calling a cab, or staying overnight.  White also reminds drivers that a safety belt is often the best defense against a drunk driver.

Secretary of State Offices Closed Wednesday for Independence Day

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that all Driver Services facilities and offices will be closed Wednesday, July 4th, 2012, in observance of Memorial Day.

Driver Services facilities that are normally open Tuesday through Saturday will close as well.

All Driver Services facilities will reopen for regular business on Thursday, July 5th, 2012.

Individuals can visit the Secretary of State’s website, www.cyberdriveillinois.com, to change an address, register to become an organ & tissue donor or renew license plate stickers if they have received a renewal form by mail.

University’s commitment to diversity extends to its suppliers

Posted by Admin On June - 26 - 2012 Comments Off on University’s commitment to diversity extends to its suppliers

Supplier Diversity Symposium unites purchasers, diverse professional services vendors


EVANSTON, IL – An event designed to bring key purchasing decision makers together with best-in-class minority-owned, women-owned and locally-based professional service firms takes place today, Tuesday, June 26,  at Norris University Center.

“One of our primary responsibilities in Purchasing Resource Services is to identify quality vendors and provide them with an opportunity to do business with Northwestern University,” says Jim Konrad, director of purchasing. “The Supplier Diversity Symposium for Professional Services represents one additional way in which we are trying to do that.”

Organized by the University’s purchasing department, the symposium is part of the University’s commitment to enhance economic opportunities for minority-owned, woman-owned, disadvantaged and local business enterprises.

“The symposium is a departure from University supplier diversity events of the past,” says Konrad. “For the first time, it will present five carefully selected businesses in each of five specific professional services areas.” Those services are information technology, asset management, financial services, human resources and marketing and communication.

This event is also aligned with other strategic priorities of the University. “An important part of the University’s strategic plan is to give our students, faculty and staff the tools to grow stronger through the richness of diversity,” said Eugene Sunshine, senior vice president of business and finance. “Today’s event reflects Northwestern’s commitment to diversity not only in the classroom but also in the purchasing and business decisions we make.”

The symposium kicks off at noon and will include opportunities for purchasing decision makers to participate in one-on-one conversations and to network with suppliers. In addition, chief officers or high level representatives of each of the five suppliers in each category will make presentations about their services to symposium participants.

In addition to the University, event co-hosts are the City of Evanston, NorthShore University HealthSystem and Evanston Township High School District 202. Officials from the Office of the Governor of Illinois, City of Evanston Mayor’s Office, and Evanston aldermen and School Board members will be in attendance. The Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, Women’s Business Development Center, Chicago Urban League and Evanston Chamber of Commerce are also participating.

NORTHWESTERN NEWS: http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/

State Board approves removal of North Chicago School Board

Posted by Admin On June - 26 - 2012 Comments Off on State Board approves removal of North Chicago School Board

State Superintendent to appoint independent authority


SPRINGFIELD, IL  – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) authorized State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch to proceed with plans to replace local school board members in North Chicago Community Unit School District 187 with a new Independent Authority.  The Illinois School Code allows the State Board to take such measures after several years of poor performance in order to implement meaningful reform and improve academic achievement.

“This step is in the best interest of North Chicago students. We must provide them with the ability to succeed in college and careers and for too long, that has not been happening,” said Superintendent Koch. “We need to work together as leaders and do what’s best for the nearly 4,000 students in North Chicago and the community at large as we get this district back on the right track.”

State law requires that the Board authorizes the State Superintendent to direct the Regional Superintendent, in this case Lake County Regional Superintendent Roycealee Wood, to remove each of the local school board members. The Board also directed State Superintendent Koch to appoint an Independent Authority and name a chairperson of that Authority. The Independent Authority, made up of five members, will exercise the powers and duties necessary to operate the district and improve school performance and student achievement.

“Difficult decisions must be made in order to do the right thing for students in North Chicago,” said State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico. “We hope to move forward with meaningful reform that will eventually allow this district to stand alone again with a locally-elected school board at the helm.”

The Board of Education Members for North Chicago District 187 were informed that they were subject to possible removal when they entered an Intergovernmental Cooperative Agreement with ISBE November 30, 2010 and again in the Notice of Termination of Intergovernmental Cooperative Agreement dated May 1, 2012.

As part of the next steps following this action, State Superintendent Koch will establish and communicate performance criteria to determine measures of district progress and eventual restoration of local control.

In 2011, only 52 percent of students in North Chicago District 187 met or exceeded standards as measured under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. The district’s failure to meet standards for nine years under NCLB triggered the state’s intervention.

Earlier, the State Board named a five-member Financial Oversight Panel for at least three years. The creation of the FOP will help the district achieve financial stability. On Thursday, the State Board of Education also took similar action in East St. Louis District 189, authorizing the removal of the local school board to be replaced with an Independent Authority.

State Senator Raoul’s Early Release Program becomes law

Posted by Admin On June - 26 - 2012 Comments Off on State Senator Raoul’s Early Release Program becomes law

Plan will relieve prison overcrowding, bolster public safety


SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-13th) issued the following statement on Governor Quinn’s signing of Senate Bill 2621, which creates a new system of “sentence credits,” with more comprehensive safeguards than previous early release plans, to reward inmates for good conduct, including the successful completion of educational and rehabilitation programs:

 Overcrowding in Illinois’ prisons is reaching a crisis point. Appropriate prison population management is not only critical to safety inside prisons; it is critical to public safety at large. We need to begin to use risk assessment tools and well-calculated criminal justice policy to make certain we utilize our corrections resources wisely. This overhaul of the sentence credit system, which met with broad and bipartisan support in the legislature, allows the Department of Corrections to take into account factors such as past offenses and an assessment of the likelihood of successful rehabilitation to make smart and safe choices about the early release of inmates.  

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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